This presentation will look at the place of traditional Russian folk music (russky folklor) in today's Russia and Russian diaspora in Western Europe. It will analyse the transmission of repertoire, knowledge and musical skills. Using examples from the presenter's field research as well as from her practice as a performer it will be shown how Russian folklore, in spite of the loss of nearly all traditional contexts for music making, still finds its way to the hearts and minds of younger generations. The stages of the transmission process as well as the contexts in which traditional music is performed today will be exemplified by video recordings: old women who grew up in the local musical tradition; “secondary” ensembles who acquire their knowledge primarily through field research; “tertiary” performers who refer to all kinds of information resources including archives, internet and “secondary” ensembles; non-traditional musical acts (DJs, electronic musicians) that make use of the repertoire and skills of traditional musicians.
Polina Proutskova - a scholar and a performer of Russian traditional singing. Polinaleads the Russian Village Music Club "IZBA" at Pushkin House (starting in October 2013). Sheconducted field research in various regions of rural Russia, her collections residing at prominent ethnomusicological archives including British Library.Polina is the founder and artistic director of "Polynushka" – an ensemble for authentic Russian folklore based in Berlin, who received the most prestigious musical award in German-speaking countries – German Music Critics Prize. Currently Polina works on a PhD in computational ethnomusicology and voice science at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is active as a performer and a vocal coach and has co-founded The British Russian Folklore and Choral Society "LADA".